Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 16, 2013

Gerald W. Robinson


CEDAR — Gerald W. Robinson died peacefully Sunday evening, just two months short of his 90th birthday. While Gerry will be sorely missed, we will forever remember his laughter, his songs, his words of wisdom, his faith and calm, his banjo, driftwood and boundless love.

The only child of William A. "Bob" Robinson and Ida Barbara Hamilton Robinson, Gerald was born and raised in Port Clinton, Ohio.

After high school Gerry enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and from 1942 to '46 he was stationed in India and China.

Gerald graduated from Bowling Green State University then earned a master's in music education from Michigan State University.

He woke late one Sunday morning and decided to attend a different church. He fell in love upon first seeing Patty, the beautiful young music director, and offered to sing in her choir. Music brought them together but when Patty made him popcorn on their first date, he knew he had found his match. They were married in 1952 at St. Patrick's Church in Parnell.

Gerry taught vocal music for 34 years, first at South High School in Grand Rapids but mostly at Mt. Clemens High School. He trained high school drivers in the morning, sold real estate in the evening and directed church choirs on the weekend.

In 1983 Gerry retired to his home on the north shore of Lime Lake in Leelanau County. He continued to be active in local choirs, drama and music.

Gerald W. Robinson is survived by Patricia Anne Heffron Robinson, his wife for over 60 years. His children are Michael P. (Gretchen Rose), of Mt. Clemens, Mary R. (Daniel) Pastor, of Parnell, Barbara S. (Daniel Vicary) Robinson, of Algonac, William B. (Cheryl) Robinson, of Cedar, Joan M. (Patrick) Pointer, of Manistee, Elaine P. (George) Hommowun, of Warrenton, Va., John G. (Sarah) Robinson, of Warrenton, Va., and Peter T. (Regina Daly) Robinson, of Boulder, Colo. He has 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his dear in-laws, Mary Heffron Fenton and Thomas Fenton, Steven and Monica Heffron and Patricia Heffron, and their families.

He was predeceased by his parents; an infant son, Paul J.; and his brother-in-law, Allan Heffron.

The family is planning a private memorial service.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please make a donation to the Verdier Circle of Friends, c/o Leland Public School, 200 N. Grand Ave., Leland, MI 49654 or the Leelanau Conservancy, 121 N. St. Joseph St., Lake Leelanau, MI 49653.

Please share thoughts and memories with Gerald's family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.